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Kamenetz, Zirkin endorse Herbst for County Council

Jonathan Herbst, a Pikesville attorney challenging Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond in the Democratic primary in June, picked up endorsements Thursday from County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and state Sen. Bobby Zirkin.

In a statement, Kamenetz called Herbst "an active community member with a clear track record of working well with others."

"I'm proud to endorse someone who has an understanding of the complex issues faced by the county and a commitment to the people of the council district that I represented for 16 years," he said.

Reisterstown resident Almond once worked as Zirkin's chief of staff, but Zirkin said in the endorsement that Herbst "is the best candidate to represent me and my community on the Baltimore County Council."

Almond and Kamenetz have butted heads on a number of issues during her time on the council, and his endorsement of Herbst was not unexpected. The county executive appeared at a fundraiser for Herbst in February, and appointed Herbst to the county planning board last summer.

Herbst said he will advocate for small businesses and that Almond has focused too much on supporting the Foundry Row development, an upscale shopping center featuring Wegmans that is planned for the former Solo Cup site in Owings Mills.

"The reality is that the Second District has not had an advocate for our small businesses these last four years," said Herbst, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican in the 2010 County Council race before switching parties. "She is basically hanging her hat on Wegmans and Foundry Row. All of us are excited about Wegmans coming to the area, but there are a lot of business owners along the Reisterstown Road corridor that are very, very concerned" about the project's effect on them.

Almond has said the Foundry Row project is supported by the community and that it will help lift other businesses in the area and attract people to Owings Mills.

alisonk@baltsun.com

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